This month’s Restoring an Original begins with trimming down the mahogany reinforcement splines flush to the neck

RESTORING AN ORIGINAL This month’s Restoring an Original begins with trimming down the mahogany reinforcement splines flush to the neck. These two splines were previously shaped, glued with System Three epoxy, and clamped for 24 hours. Keep in mind that this Gibson SG originally came to us with the headstock snapped clean off and previously has had a variety of repair procedures to get us ready for this important next step. You can see a picture of the original break in the first part of ‘65 Gibson SG, in the March 2007 issue of Premier Guitar, available at

Trimming/Leveling Splines
The first thing we need to do is protect the neck and headstock wood from any scarring when we are trimming down the reinforcement splines. I use a nice strip of Mylar that is sectioned out to fit around the splines. My tools of choice for this are the Microplane Shaping tools – I get a very smooth cut from the razor sharp edges with a working length of 8”, starting out with the square and moving up to the rounded rasp.

I still like to have my traditional cabinetmaker’s rasp, wood files and my luthier’s file set from Stew Mac in arm’s reach at all times. Once I am closer to having the splines level to the neck and headstock wood, I then remove the Mylar protective blanket.

#10 thin cynoacrylate glue is drop-filled on the seam where the reinforcement splines and neck wood join. We use a drop-fill angled plastic toothpick and accelerator to fill any concaved pockets that appeared after the initial gluing process. Afterwards, a fresh and very sharp razor blade is used to finalize the level with a light amount of 280 grit sandpaper. To the touch of my fingers it has a smooth, liquid, natural feel and is now ready for a naturalaged looking nitrocellulose finish.

Next month we will be using Color Tone liquid stains to color match the repaired area and feathering overcoats of tinted clear nitrocellulose. is a great source for most all of your supplies that you’ll need.

Thanks to all you inquisitive minds, as I enjoy being a contributing writer for Premier Guitar and sharing Restoring An Original with all of you. Please remember that you can view past articles on Restoring an Original at or

You can view past articles on “Restoring an Original” at or
John Brown
John Brown, of Brown''s Guitar Factory, is the inventor of the Fretted/Less bass. He owns and operates a full guitar manufacturing and repair/restoration facility, which is staffed by a team of talented luthiers. He is also the designer of guitar making/repair tools and accessories that are used today by instrument builders throughout the world.

A faithful recreation of the Germanium Mosrite Fuzzrite with a modern twist.

Read MoreShow less

Presets extend the flexibility of an already expansive and easy-to-use reverb.

Intuitive. Great range in all controls. Well-built.

Some digital artifacts at long decay times.


Walrus Audio Slötvå


Walrus Audio is a prolific builder, but, as the five reverb pedals in their lineup suggest, they have a real affinity for manipulating time and space. The beauty of the Slötvå reverb (which is derived from the company’s very similar Spin FV-1 chip-based Slö reverb) is how satisfying and simple it makes dramatic shifts between time/space textures.

Read MoreShow less

With such a flashy flame top, the Silvertone 1445 was built to catch the eyes of department store shoppers.

I don’t know what’s going on lately, but I’m breaking down all over and my shoulder is the latest to crumble. When I was a kid I would practice guitar in my bedroom near a radiator with an ungrounded amp plug and I’d get a zap right through my guitar and into my hands. Well, my shoulder pain is like that now, only without the cool story of rock ’n’ roll survival. I simply woke up one day like this. After a few weeks of discomfort, I figured I’d try out a new pillow, since mine are flattened like a wafer. I ventured out to the mall and, much to my sadness, saw the local Sears store shuttered, with weeds growing up from the sidewalks and concrete barriers blocking the large glass doors. I know I don’t get out much, but, man, was I sad to see the Sears store I’d known since childhood closed-up like that. My wife was laughing at me because apparently it had been closed for some time. But since I seem to exist on a separate timeline than most folks, it was all news to me.

Read MoreShow less